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Meet Bass Tech, Chris Brandt

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Chris Brandt has been my bass tech for well over a decade. His knowledge
and skills as a tech are second to none, but he also has limitless insight into
the continued development of this instrument, and I believe his concepts will
provide great food for thought for any player.

Jake Kot, Editor

Meet Bass Tech, Chris Brandt

Back in 1963, when I was in the 7th grade, my love affair with the guitar was already in full bloom and I increasingly found myself drawn to the electric guitar. I was attracted to its mysterious power but I had never actually played one and for me at the time, the electric guitar seemed to have a sort of taboo around it. I’d been loyally reading Sing Out magazine because I dug the folk scene and back then there seemed to be a prejudice against the electric guitar. Back then the electric guitar was not as universally accepted as it is to day as Bob Dylan had a chance to when he first played his Strat at the Newport folk festival in19?? And so many people got upset. Well, I didn’t have money to buy one so when I was in the eighth grade, I made one . I copied a Mostrite because I liked the heavily sculpted body. A local music store had a real one and I went back over and over again so I could study every detail. It was the only way I could figure out how to make one. There was no teaching material at that time and there was no one to answer my questions. It came out very well and a few years later in spite of my age it helped me get a job as a repairman. I’ve been working on guitars and basses ever since. Now I’m in my mid 50s and I’ve been lucky enough to see the incredible evolution of the electric bass, which has arguably gone through more reinvention then the electric guitar.

The bass player today is now in an unprecedented environment of choices. The efforts and creativity of so many people have shaped the bass world light years beyond its early beginnings. Wood, graphite fiber, plastics, metals, finish materials, passive pickups, active pickups, even pizzo, synth, and photo optical systems, not to mention different bridges, gears, and control systems are all part of the scene and it can make your head swim. So many tantalizing possibilities.

The Twelfth Fret is the shop I own devoted entirely to craftsmanship and I love it when I can help someone get to where they are trying to go. Whether a job is little or large it almost always involves collaboration. Even for a straight forward set up I want to know about the person’s playing style, goals for their action and of course the kind of strings they will use. Collaboration is a core part of my work, and collaboration between players and builder/designers has always been where the rubber meets the road. The totally remarkable evolution of electric instruments always resulted from this and still does. I’ve watched many, many musicians first come into my shop and soon discover to what a great extent luthiery can add to their own quest to be better players. And I’ve also seen over and over again that figuring out how to help a player is what helps a luthier become a better luthier. I’ve spent years collaborating with many players. It is all worthy of a great deal of observation and thought, from designs, use of materials, the effects of stress and wear, adjustment issues, repair issues, and customizing. It is a world unto itself, and grows larger and more interesting the more one learns.

This is my first venture writing a column and I hope to do so in the same spirit of collaboration which so often seems to bring out the very best. I plan to explore what makes the electric bass the truly remarkable instrument that it is. As a part of this exploration, I would like to throw open a question to you, the reader. I am eager to see what comes back from this question and I look forward to incorporating it into the next article. So here goes…….

A magnetic pickup on an electric bass (or guitar) can not hear wood resonance yet if you plug it in and stand back and listen you CAN hear wood resonance. How does the pickup do it?

Send me your best answer and until the next article….SAY TUNED!

Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #3 – John Patitucci IG Video, The Summer Festival Gig, iPads on Stage

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

In this episode we cover John Patitucci’s IG video about saying ‘no’ to the gig, the Summer Festival gig, and iPads on stage (sure it’s awesome but is it necessary?)

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Curly Hendo

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Interview Wity Bassist Curly Hendo

Bassist Curly Hendo…

Hailing from Sydney, Australia, bassist Curly Hendo has been super busy. Starting with dance from a young age, Curly took up bass shortly after and has been going strong ever since. She has collaborated with numerous acts worldwide and is an in-demand session/touring bassist and musical director.

Join me as we learn about Curly’s musical journey, how she gets her sound, and her plans for a very bright future.

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @jermsbass @degierguitars @meridian_guitars @xvector_basses @marleaux_bassguitars @mattissonbass @alesvychodilbasses @gvguitars @thebassplace @xylembassguitar

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Bass CDs

New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

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New Album: Ben Mortiz, MORENO

The Chilean bassist, producer and sociologist, Ben Mortiz, celebrates the launch of his latest studio work, “MORENO” an album that mixes jazz, soul, and funk following the characteristic Latin style of  Mortiz. The artist completely produced the album under the label “Fallen Lab Records” in the south of Chile.

“MORENO” brings deep and smooth sounds, expressing a sophisticated and elegant Latin vibe. You will find meditative harmonies and joyful melodic voices. The record’s core is the human vibration that Mortiz feels from the Latin American music. The Caribbean rhythms and strong Latin percussions are the musical glue in every song that emerges with the force of the electric bass.

“MORENO” creates a real connection between corporal reactions and mind sensations, always in reference to the originality of Mortiz to fuse modern and classic Latin sounds.

For more information, visit online at danielbenmortiz.com/

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Gear News

New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Dual Compressor/Effects Loop

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New Gear: Phil Jones Bass X2C Duel Compressor/Effects Loop

Step Into X2C With Phil Jones Bass Dual Compressor/Effects Loop…

Phil Jones Bass latest pedal innovation is the X2C Dual Compressor with Dual Effects Loop for performance and recording. The X2C incorporates advanced compressor circuit technology and provides comprehensive tone control with a dual crossover feature which divides the signal into frequency bands ranging from 100Hz to 500Hz, ensuring exceptional clarity and dynamics in tone refinement. 

With insert jacks on each band, the X2C unlocks limitless creativity, enabling players to use various FX pedals for custom tone sculpting. Additionally, it functions as an electronic crossover, ideal for driving high-performance, 2-way bass rigs.

PJB’s Dual-Band compression design is more flexible than standard single-band compressors and provides a more natural and transparent sound. It also provides greater control over shaping and managing dynamics where standard compressors affect the entire frequency spectrum of an audio signal.  

PJB’s dual compressor enables the player to shape specific frequency ranges of an audio signal which allows for compressing the low frequencies while preserving the high frequencies, or vice-versa. Treating the low-end with a dedicated band also allows for heavy compression without affecting the midrange frequencies, which carry the attack of the sound. 

Effects can be plugged into the insert jacks on the X2C and controlled separately. As an example, the lows can be adjusted separately for an overdrive pedal while the highs can be controlled for a chorus. 

Dividing the audio spectrum into fundamental frequencies and harmonics is also effective in the enrichment of slapping techniques. The low frequencies can be compressed without changing the dynamics of the “slap”. By controlling the low frequencies and focusing the attack on the slap the amplifier will sound louder while avoiding overloading of the amp or speakers. The low band can be compressed without the harmonics being affected. In addition, the send jacks can go to different amplifiers/speakers for a bi-amplification set up.

Compact and potent, the X2C embodies studio-grade excellence, setting a new standard for dynamic processing in an uncompromising, portable pedal. The street price is $359.99.

Visit online at www.pjbworld.com

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